Magazine Article | January 24, 2014

Evaluating The True Cost Of A Poor Performer

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Mark Forrest, general manager, Trimble Field Service Management,

Take a look at the numbers — a lack of real-time visibility into your field operations will cost you.

Gaining real-time insight into what is happening in the field is crucial to delivering high levels of service excellence. As business leaders monitor how their workers are performing, they are also exploring new and costeffective ways to enhance productivity and initiate strategies to ensure that the organization continues to deliver service excellence.

Few managers realize how much an underperforming worker can affect service excellence as well as cost a company thousands of dollars a month by jeopardizing task completion or by making it necessary to return to customer sites to resolve inadequate work. This creates a ripple effect of reduced revenue, increased expenses, and unhappy customers.

Embracing technology that provides real-time visibility into the best and worst performers makes it possible to stop the ripple. Aberdeen Group found that best-inclass field service organizations leveraging workforce management tools complete nearly 10 percent more work orders each day and are 2.5 percent more profitable than average performers.

The Numbers Don't Lie: Poor Performers Are Frighteningly Expensive
According to Aberdeen Group, one of every four service calls requires a follow-up visit, costing an additional $200 to $300 per truck-roll. If this happens 10 times a week, it adds up to $3,000. In addition, if the additional truck-rolls require 10 hours of overtime, that comes to $360 a week for a mobile worker earning $50,000 annually. Multiply that by five or six workers, and your monthly overtime costs are approaching $10,000.

Similarly, companies not meeting a 50 percent first-time fix rate and requiring a return visit reported revenues dropping by nearly 3 percent. If a service call generates $500 in revenue, and excessive callbacks reduce service by just five calls per week, that's $2,500 in unrealized income. Advanced technologies such as workforce management and its performance-management capabilities enable business leaders to rectify these inefficiencies by leveraging detailed metrics to make informed decisions about in-day schedule changes, unexpected tasks, or tasks in danger of being missed. The result is an increase in productivity, making it possible for them to complete more jobs per day without compromising quality, thus building customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Real-Time Visibility Gives You Back The Power
Another benefit of deploying the right technology is that it provides real-time visibility into mobile operations, so you gain insight into how many appointments your workers have met, how many have been missed, and which ones aren't resolved to the customer's satisfaction. You can access such critical data as the length of time each worker spends at the customer site and overall staff utilization. Detailed graphs and reports of these metrics make it easy to monitor the amount of time it's taking to complete a task compared to the time allotted, as well as the number of unresolved tasks.

These technologies also provide performance analytics tools to drill down by team and individual worker, letting you review one team's performance compared to another and determine if an adjustment is necessary. For instance, if scheduled travel times are unrealistic in a specific geographic area and could affect a team's performance, you can reassign tasks. Similarly, team supervisors can monitor individual performances (using both current and historical data) and identify perpetual underperformers.

By implementing the correct technology, you can easily identify problem areas. The benefit of leveraging data on a daily basis is access to critical analysis and real-time metrics that create accountability, which, in turn, enhances efficiency, productivity, and profitability.